Janine Tugonon defends Ariella Arida from bashers

Speaking English is not a pre-requisite to winning Miss Universe.

Just like what she answered at the Miss Universe pageant last year, Miss Universe 2012 first runner-up Janine Tugonon reiterated her view and defended Philippines’ bet this year, Ariella Arida from criticisms of her poor command of the English language.

Janine Tugonon models for Sheri Hill

Miss Universe 2012 first runner-up Janine Tugonon models for Sheri Hill

“Honestly, I’m not that good in English but still I managed to clinch the first runner-up title,” explained Janine. “What they care about is what’s in your heart, your personality, and your stand on certain issues. Knowing Ara, I know she has a good heart and so I’m confident with her interviews.”

Janine, who just finished her two-month acting class in the Los Angeles branch of the prestigious New York Film Academy, believes Ara is a very strong contender and may be the one to finally bring back the Miss Universe crown to the country after 40 years. Margarita Moran last won the title in 1973.

“I believe Ara really has the face and the body. I’ve been seeing her pictures and I love them. She trained hard so I know she’ll do good. I can’t say exactly how she will fare in the competition but with Ara’s beauty, which for me is very Filipina, I think she stands a good chance because they love Filipina beauty,” said Janine.

The preliminary round of judging for Miss Universe has already begun. After the closed door preliminary interview, Ariella was recently adjudged wearing her national costume, alongside 85 other candidates, in the National Costume competition held in Vegas Mall.

This year’s Miss Universe will be crowned this Sunday (Nov 10) in Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia. The show will be hosted by Thomas Roberts of “MSNBC Live” and Mel B of “America’s Got Talent.”

Watch it live on Velvet Channel at 2am with a delayed telecast on ABS-CBN at 9am and a primetime replay at 10pm. (PR)

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